Debris Burning / Controlled Burns
Thousands of controlled burns are conducted each year. Most of these meet there objective with no unintended consequences, however some do escape and cause harm. Follow these tips to help you burn be successful and safe:
- Always activate a burn permit. If open burning is closed when you try to activate your permit, then you shouldn't be burning. While it may not always be obvious why burning is closed, there is always a good reason (like expected weather) and you should not be starting a fire. Burn permits also help everyone know if a column of smoke is supposed to be there or not, thus saving police and fire running around the valley all day to controlled burns.
- Always have bare dirt around what you are burning and have water available to control your burn if it starts getting too big. You need to have the necessary tools to ensure the fire is kept controlled.
- Make sure that you know the weather forecast for the day. Nice summer days are the same conditions that help controlled burns escape. Be leery of expected winds, expected fronts, or forming thunderstorms. Find the weather at the National Weather Service website.
- Always stay with the fire until it is completely out, never leave it unattended. Dig around in the fire while adding water to make sure it is completely out.
- Make sure your campfire is dead out. If it is too hot to touch, then it is too hot to leave. Using a shovel, stir water and dirt into your campfire to make sure everything is wet and cold to the touch.